Thursday, March 1, 2012

Vanderbilt University News, excerpt

Children’s literature expert discusses enduring value of ‘Dr. Seuss’

by Jennifer Wetzel, Mar. 1, 2012

Tomorrow, millions of children across the country will celebrate one of the most beloved authors of all time. March 2 marks the birthday of the late Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, and is also the date the National Education Association annually designates as “Read Across America Day,” an event that focuses on the need to instill a love of reading in children.

Vanderbilt children’s literature expert Ann Neely says Dr. Seuss holds a special place in the hearts of many because he wrote with the joy, concern and passion a child carries.

This readability is a key part of the enduring power of Dr. Seuss literature.“His books, often filled with strange names and ‘political’ messages, demonstrate his heart in a way that allows the reader to read, repeat and even sing his words,” said Neely, associate professor of education at Vanderbilt’s Peabody College of education and human development. “This readability is a key part of the enduring power of Dr. Seuss literature. Children can read Dr. Seuss books many, many times without tiring of the rhythms, the plots or the art.”

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